Rarámuri

Indigenous Peoples

The Copper Canyon is home to the Tarahumara, or in their own language, they are the Rarámuri, ‘those who walk through life correctly.’

The Rarámuri are the second largest Indigenous group north of Mexico City (the Diné or Navajo in the United States are the first). They are famous for their long distance running. Some are capable of running nonstop for more than 20 hours. When the Spanish arrived in the early 1500s, the Rarámuri lived in the fertile valleys of central Chihuahua. To evade the missionaries and Spanish settlers, they moved to the mountains and canyons.

Today, their settlements are very small and often seasonal. Rarámuris traditionally live in caves or cabins along the canyon rims during the summer and move to the canyon bottoms during the winter. This is all geared toward a productive agricultural system in which specialized crops are grown for a specific altitude or type of soil. Corn is the major crop and the milpas, or fields, can boast more than six different strains, including blue, red and white corn.

Responsible Travel
If you do visit, please respect their privacy. That said, many Rarámuri are qualified guides who want to help bridge gaps in cultural understanding.

Spirituality
The Rarámuri have an organic cosmology – a vital part of their religion is their belief that they are an integral part of the land and of the universe itself.

Vocabulary
Good morning = Kuira = Kuira-bá
Good afternoon = Kuira = Kuira-bá
Good evening = Kuira = Kuira-bá
Hello = Kuira = Kuira-bá
Thank you = Matétera-bá = Gracias
Until tomorrow = Ipaché = Hasta mañana
Goodbye = Adios = ibá

Headlines
Mexico: Killing of Rarámuri leader highlights lack of state protection for human rights defenders – Amnesty
Latest land defender murder cements Mexico’s deadly reputation – Guardian

Recommended Listening
Pascolas y Matachines. La Voz de la Sierra Tarahumara. For more Mexico goodness, follow  CDI_mx on SoundCloud and Twitter: 

Wikipedia
Rarámuri people

Planeta.com

México

Chihuahua

Copper Canyon

Indigenous

Milpa

International Decade of Indigenous Languages

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